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Poster: wineland Date: Jul 9, 2012 8:58pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Jerry's Voice Apex

For me it was with EU72. Then I listen to this and I can't help but think that Garcia was at the head of his game. Writing good music and reinventing oneself, and band.

http://archive.org/details/gd1972-12-11.121029.mtx.dusborne.flac16

What's your favorite Jerry voice? My top of the dogpile would undeniably be 3.18.78, JGB.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jul 9, 2012 9:05pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's Voice Apex

Hey b--not sure if you were picking 72 as the peak of his voice, or 78, but for me, 70 on the studio albums was really NICE. He could still pull it off in the studio through the early to mid 70s, as in Mars, etc., but live it was really hit or miss by late 70s when I was seeing him.

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Poster: wineland Date: Jul 9, 2012 11:52pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's Voice Apex

Yeah, I talked myself into a circle there. 72 was my answer but that 71 show makes him sound really good. Couldn't argue with your 70 pick.

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Jul 10, 2012 7:42am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's Voice Apex

Virtually any "Bird Song" from 1972 shows Jerry's voice IMO in its best ever apex.

He never really carried a tune quite as well as he did that year. '76 was pretty good, but he had range AND power in '72...mostly range in '76, but quieter.

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Poster: Headstrung Date: Jul 10, 2012 4:03pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's Voice Apex

I am not sure about an apex for his voice but if I were to tenor a guess I would say 1972-1976. That said one of the times when Jerry's voice being trashed added to a song I add this link...

http://archive.org/details/gd1988-04-04.sbd.miller.91162.sbeok.flac16

During Stella Blue he is sick and recovering from completely losing his voice the previous night. During this song in my opinion his rough voice adds to the desperation of the song and really brings the words to life.

In fact he was so pissed off about losing his voice during the first night he threw down his microphone and ripped a sweet solo out of frustration. These three nights in Hartford were crazy. So many people camped in Bushnell Park that the city banned the Dead. The Dead payed some money for trash clean up etc. Never had such a good time in my life before...

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Jul 11, 2012 7:44am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's Voice Apex

Isn't it ironic, that during this peek period of his voice, that in the middle of it those "Wall of Sound" shows, their voices are going through those weird mikes, that can make the voices sound strange and sibilant .
I think Jerry got the hang of them better than Weir .
I do think that after 76, the drugs, cigs. , wear ( constant touring) and age, started to degrade/change his voice . Thus the birth of the "Fozzie Bear choking on a hot dog" voice . I think Jerry adapted, and could still be an effective singer with the voice he had . I, for one, like the later "old man" voice , on songs like "High Time" more than i do his cleaner early voice . And he was always soulful; something few, technically better, singers can do .

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Poster: unclejohn52 Date: Jul 11, 2012 10:40am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's Voice - period.

DD- you hit on the point I'd like to reiterate in this thread - Jerry was much more than effective with his vocals. Despite limitations and destructive behaviors, I really love his vocals in almost all periods, even counting the weaker 80's. There's few singers who can communicate so much and with SOUL as you pointed out. Also notable is his diction - despite a penchant for saying "nut-thatched" instead of just nut-thatch in Eyes - you can always understand the words ... and I can forgive forgetting lyrics, when you consider the thousands of songs in his mental library. You touched on another point - I think his craggy aged voice contributes mightily to songs like Lazy River Road and Standing on the Moon... just beautiful and poignant.

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Poster: Reade Date: Jul 12, 2012 2:24pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's Voice - period.

He was very deliberate about pronouncing the consonants at the end of words in general.

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Poster: Reade Date: Jul 11, 2012 8:29am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's Voice Apex

You make an intriguing point about those microphones. His peak voice to me was '72-'76 and primarily with the non-Dead configurations- O&ITW and the various Jerry Band lineups. Never even occurred to me to wonder why I didn't necessarily feel the same about his Dead vocals from that era.

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Poster: Skobud Date: Jul 10, 2012 6:26am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's Voice Apex

Im gonna definately say '76, specifically most of the June shows. Perfect example is Crazy Fingers on 6/9

http://archive.org/details/gd1976-06-09.sbd.miller.95399.sbeok.flac16

His voice is so damn delicate with such a sweet tone. Just soft and almost comforting. Basically every ballad he does in June '76 sounds that way to me.

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Poster: wineland Date: Jul 11, 2012 7:21am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's Voice Apex

Wow, just wow. I finally had a chance to give the Crazy Fingers a listen. So delicate and sweet. I can't wait for the Eyes, High Time and Wharf Rat later in the show. Good call on voice purity.

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Poster: rdenirojb87 Date: Jul 10, 2012 6:46am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's Voice Apex

I second 1976. His vocal abilities shined in '76 JGB shows as well.

Here's another great example, it wasn't just June of '76 that he sounded great:
http://archive.org/details/gd1976-10-01.sbd.miller.112800.flac16

That Scarlet is one of the best stand-alone versions ever btw.

Donna also sounds great on this show. And Donna's vocal apex was also 1976 IMO.

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Poster: WillCo Date: Jul 12, 2012 1:25pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's Voice Apex

Nice topic; I've often thought about this.

Apex? 1970-1976; take your pick.

"Been All Around This World" (Bear's Choice, 1970) - sweet, tuneful, perfect diction and phrasing ....

.... and it certainly continues through 1976:
"Crazy Fingers" (1976-06-09)
http://archive.org/details/gd1976-06-09.sbd.miller.95399.sbeok.flac16

Post-apex: I think his voice was still strong until 1981 or so, declining mostly after that as far as Grateful Dead performances went.

In his final few years the grandpa voice was a different instrument, and there's lots to love, especially when he sang with Grisman (for example Teddy Bears' Picnic) and with the JGB (for example the Dylan ballads such as Senor and Simple Twist Of Fate).

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Poster: RBNW....new and improved! Date: Jul 10, 2012 6:53pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's Voice Apex

what changed more over the years , Jerry's voice or the technology that delivered it to your ears???? i believe that the later years better technology revealed more of the flaws or deficiencies, if you will, more than jerry's voice depreciated. to some extent the same for the instruments and the band as a whole for that matter!!!! i think jerry sang as good in the end as the beginning but all the same it didnt sound as good!!!

This post was modified by RBNW....new and improved! on 2012-07-11 01:53:40

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Poster: RBNW....new and improved! Date: Jul 10, 2012 6:54pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's Voice Apex

in 67 he had to really sing to fill the club, but by the 1990s with the newer technology he could whisper to fill a stadium with sound.

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Poster: user unknown Date: Jul 11, 2012 6:11am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's Voice Apex

Technology probably did play a part, but there is no doubt in my mind that Jerry's voice also deteriorated over the years. Even if you discount his lifestyle, 30 years of touring will work on the vocal chords. Any vocalist that lasts as long as Jerry will lose a bit of vocal acuity. And then when you throw in Jerry's lifestyle, it's a wonder he could sing at all.

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Poster: craven714 Date: Jul 11, 2012 8:56am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Jerry's Voice Apex

1970 ~ American Reality
when they actually practiced the vocals.
71-76 didnt suck ( ok a few), but nuttin past 78.

And agree with the 74 sound. The WOS sounded out of this
world I would imagine live. But what we get in sound recordings?
Sounds like Jerry is singing into one of those little
things that sucks the snot out of a baby's nose -
amplified.

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